730 days – you have blessed the lives of more than you know. 2 years ago Daddy and I were supposed to be going to a baby shower and a wedding. It was a full weekend! But, it became a busy weekend for a different reason.
We weren’t expecting you for another three and a half weeks yet, on that day, your tiny little self curled up in a froggy position on my chest and I fell in love with all 2,38kgs of you!
You were our surprise! (Read her birth story here). We didn’t know whether we’d greet a boy or a girl. You blew our suspicions out the water when I heard Daddy say,
“It’s a girl!”
Since your first birthday, you have brought much more joy to our lives!
Your speech blew our minds! We sat down when you were thirteen months old, taking bets on how many words you could say. I guessed 30-40. Daddy disagreed and said 50-60. Well, once we wrote them out, they totaled 110! Everything from the common words like “ball”, “bear” and “baba” to the more unusual “upstairs”, “outside” and “toast”. And since then, you continue to amaze me with your 5-8 word sentences!
“Where’s Daddy, Mommy? Maybe he’s downstairs.”
“I’m going to the shop in a moment, Daddy.”
“I want to go down here, Mommy. Come play with me.”
“It’s dark outside. I can’t run, Daddy, I can’t. I can’t play on the jungle gym. I can’t! The sun’s sleeping in his bed.”
“Sun’s awake. Sun not sleeping anymore!”
“Are you still typing, Mommy? I want to watch something.”
“What you doing, Mommy?”
“Are you sore, Daddy?”
Or, some of my favourite…
“Daddy, ticklish. Daddy’s take his face off,” when Daddy’s stubble brushed your face as you kissed him goodnight.
When I laughed at Daddy as he joked, “Mommy’s laughing at Daddy. Daddy’s got a funny face!”
You love your books and, each morning, when it’s still dark, we put you back in bed with a treasury of bound stories and you will entertain yourself for well over an hour. I love listening to you during your independent play time as you chatter away to yourself and your “babas”. Once I thought you were whining when I heard a “WROWWRRRRR” only to hear a “woof” two seconds later. I then giggled to myself as I listened to you read Hairy Maclary to yourself. You moved onto the next one and I heard your version of “…hulabaloo, scarper, skedaddle, be off with you…” and then a very definitive, “Shoo!” The names of the characters in the Hairy Maclary books, such as “Hercules Morse”, “Bottomley Potts” “Schnitzel von Krumm”, make my heart smile as the roll off your tongue with surprising precision. In fact, you know much of the narrative to many of your books. We’ve read “My Day” (a book from the 1970’s) ad nauseam.
A verse that echoed the prayer of my heart graces the wall above the changing table. We have read it to you countless times. And, one day, I realised you knew many of the words. So I repeated the words, stopping at appropriate places to see if you could continue the verse. Blow me down, you did! This last week, you recited the whole thing.
“For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart.” 1 Samuel 1:27
If that didn’t impress me enough, you identified letters of the alphabet even on gate signs this past week! One day I thought I’d tell you the letter of your name on the fridge. When I saw that you caught on quickly and identified it on your own amongst the other 23, I told you letters for the names of various people in your life. Now you are able to identify over half the alphabet on signs, books and the like.
We haven’t quite got the colours down but we’ll get there!
As many words as you know, you still enjoy made up words that only you and your friends understand such as ,
What we would do to find out what that word means!
And when we change your nappy, you and Daddy call it a clean “mappy” (said in a gruff voice).
The last few months have been a period of massive transition – you left your babyhood behind and grabbed hold of toddlerhood! You weaned yourself on the day that marked 16 months of your life. In January, you moved from your cot to your bed and left your baby room for your new sister. You moved into a room no longer coloured with neutrals and adorned with animals but filled with pinks, purples, dolls and Duplo. As much as you’ve loved your new bed, you’ve also loved getting out! You epitomise FOMO!
I was nervous adding another little person to our family and envisioned my lap and arms becoming points of contention. From time to time they are. I lay next to you on our last night as a family of three and didn’t stop tears as they coursed down my cheeks and wet the pillow next to you. You suddenly wouldn’t be the baby anymore. Come the morning, there would be someone smaller than you in my arms and you would have to understand that I couldn’t pick you up for the next few weeks as I recovered from surgery. And my heart broke for you!
As hard as you found some parts of those initial days, you didn’t take all the frustration you felt out on your baby sister. Although you were a bit disinterested at first, you loved looking at her, touching her feet and parts of her face. When we asked you to kiss her, you would gently bump your head against hers. When your friend tried to touch her, you screamed, “No!” and protectively covered her with your arms. (I can’t pretend my heart didn’t warm just a little bit!) I’ve asked you, from time to time, if we can give your sister to your friends, thinking you might actually say yes but each time, no matter how much you’ve acted out over her, you look at me skeptically and say, “No!”
Each night, you would pull away the wrap covering her face and say,
“Hello!” as you crumpled your nose at her cuteness.
You took great delight when “she’s looking at you” and later on would say,
“She’s smiling at you!” with the same wrinkled grin.
One night early on, you woke up and, half asleep at 1am, picked up your step that you used to get onto our bed after my caesar and brought it over to the change mat to watch me change your baby sister.
A new sibling also brought along your sleep regression! You are impressively stubborn and just when we thought we had it down, your baby sister arrived. And, with the upheaval of routine, no matter how we tried, you were determined to get out that bed! You still think it’s great to be put back in your bed countless times each night! Now, during the night, you’ll get up a few times and, even though it’s tiring, I can’t help but melt when you climb into bed with us and snuggle up close in your sleepy state with your head against my lips.
You also discovered the art of using crayons on things other than paper. After repeated offenses and confiscations, you decided to take two colours to the carpet, your favourite 1970’s book, your toys, table, bookshelf and chair. When I was cleaning it, I exclaimed that it wasn’t easy and it was hard to get off. As you rubbed the cloth over the bike, you sorrowfully remarked, “It’s not easy, Mommy. It’s not easy!” and simultaneously broke my heart. Now, we draw with crayons together!
Your sense of humour is a delight! When you play with your (very noisy!) piano, you run around in circles and fall down with an “all fall down!” or a “haibo!” When we have to go through 20+ pages of your nursery rhyme book and we get to “The Grand Old Duke of York”, you waddle around and around the room. You think it’s funny to put on all my panties around your neck. You sometimes put on an item of clothing and announce, “So cute!” You love to horseplay with your Daddy and “do tummy time” on his tummy. You’ve taken up calling the cat, “Kit”. You love to remark that your sister “has made a stinky poo!” and then ask to see it.
You have opened creams and mosquito repellents and smeared them all over yourself, the curtains and the carpets. There is no lid that can outsmart you. You have painted your legs, hands, your “liolin” (lion) and the chair with pink nail polish. You have covered you bare body in so much mud that we couldn’t see your skin tone. You regularly are covered in dust and sand.
You love peacocks, graders, weed eaters, pretties (any item of jewellery or hairbands) and babas. Your favourite places are the shops (like your mommy!), the park (and the trampoline that’s now “all fixed”) and the library. You could eat chips, tomato sauce, cucumber, chocolate and raisins all day! You hate it when I sang to you as a baby and it just made you scream louder. You still dislike me singing (unless it’s at bedtime or one of your songs) and remark with much distaste, “Mommy singing. Enough! Don’t sing, Mommy. Like it.” (translated means, “I don’t like it!) Daddy, on the other hand, has always been able to get away with it. You call giraffes, “mithis” (a derivative of the Zulu word, “indlulamithi”) even though you know the English. You LOVE trampolines and think you like to “jump altogether” with your friends (even though you don’t like it for more than a few seconds)! You love playing (and fighting) with our neighbour’s son. All you need to do is hear him outside on the jungle gym – we can do little to distract you! You drink tea (even though we’ve tried to tell you it’s actually milk) on the bottom step with Daddy every morning. You can only be convinced to shower if you have a cup to fill. You love to eat you peanut butter sandwiches while wondering around on the jungle gym. Tea is life! That you also enjoy having on the jungle gym. Your “liolin” and dummy are what you would save if the house was burning down. And you only have eyes for Daddy when you wake up (and most of the time actually)! You love me when you’re tired and I have dinner to cook or a baby in my arms. You love to read your Bible and especially enjoy Noah and how it rained for forty days and forty nights and the whole earth was “flooded”! You enjoy shouting, “There’s Jesus!”
At Christmas time, you knew 95% of the characters in the nativity set including Anna, Gabriel and Caesar. You loved finding a new character each night in the box under the Christmas tree and adding him/her to the scene.
At Easter time, we really focused on the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. You would moan, “Jesus sore.” and sometimes, “Jesus got a sore tummy” (as your sister often does) or “Jesus got a rash” (a point of reference for you). And, oh, the delight on your face when we told you He was risen! A wide grin spread across your face and your eyes sparkled as you excitedly repeated, “He’s risen! Not sore, aneemore!” Sometimes you would see a cross (even an “x”) and say, “It’s a cross. For Jesus.” When asked where Jesus is, you lift your shirt and say, “In your heart!”
And that will always be my prayer for you, my little Frig! It has been since before your conception and will always be that Jesus resides in your heart and that you will never stop sharing your joy of His resurrection with the world with a sparkle in your eye!
Happy 2nd Birthday, my beautiful girl! How blessed we are to call you ours!Tags: baby, birthday, birthday girl, books, daddy, girl, Jesus, mommy, mommyhood, parenthood, sibling, sister, toddler, two years old, vocabulary